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Centre set to bring more welfare schemes under e-payment: Prez

“The government places the highest importance towards the DBT mode of payments as the preferred mode for reaching out to the financially disadvantaged and excluded segments of our population,” he said on the 40th anniversary of the Indian Civil Accounts Service.

“This mode of direct transfer of funds to beneficiary bank accounts ensures transparency, eliminates delays and brings about a perceptible drop in corruption levels. I am confident that the government will on-board more welfare schemes on the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) portal in future,” he said. 

Currently, subsidy related to LPG, scholarship payment and the like are being paid directly to accounts of beneficiaries. There is need to harness and leverage e-governance capabilities for improving lives of the poor and needy and to transform India into a more equitable and financially inclusive society, he said.

Emphasising that India is the third-largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), he said the size, scale and complexity of the economy is increasing with every passing day, as is its integration with the world economy.

 “These fast-paced developments pose policy and administrative challenges on many fronts, including the capability and capacity of our financial management and accounting systems to respond to the myriad needs of various stakeholders in the economy,” he said. 

In that context, the President said, the foremost challenge for the office of the Controller General of Accounts is timely and credible financial reporting of public finances, which is the backbone of an efficient and sound financial management system. 

Congratulating both the CAG and the Controller General of Accounts on ensuring faster submission of annual financial statements, along with the audit report of the Union government for 2014-15, to Parliament within the same calendar year, Mukherjee said this happened only for the second time since Independence.

The could be achieved because both entities worked “in tandem”. “This now has to be the norm rather than the exception. At the same time, fiscal data need to be presented in a simple and user-friendly manner to enable easy comprehension both by parliamentarians and the general public. I am confident you will work towards this,” he said. Mukherjee also spoke of the other pressing need of strengthening oversight mechanism in implementation of projects and schemes by line ministries.

“The internal audit function today remains largely confined to compliance audit. This needs to change - internal audit has to aid management in the effective implementation of programmes and help reduce cost and time overruns,” he said.

Moreover, he said the focus has to change from compliance to risk management, mitigation and control. The Controller General of Accounts has taken several steps towards this end and this process needs to continue, he added. Observing that an efficient payment system also entails new challenges and opportunities for the government accounting fraternity, he said the government and its agencies today are repositories of large volumes of financial and statistical data.

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